Oveta McInnis and Cedric Levy, chair and treasurer and deputy chair at Enfield Caribbean Association attended the unveiling of the new Windrush statue at Waterloo Station in central London.
The monument depicts a man, woman and child dressed smartly, standing on suitcases otherwise known as 'grips'. They stand tall and proud ready to face life's challenges in Britain. The monument was designed by Jamaican artist and sculptor Basil Watson. ECA and community members were involved in selection of the monument. It has been erected to mark the bravery and courage of the Windrush generation who came to Britain between 194 and 1971 in answer to the call to help build Britain. Many came to work in the transport systems and the nursing profession.
Floella Benjamin, who led the project, Prince William and Kate, a number of MPs including David Lammy and Michael Gove were present. This falls in the shadow of the Windrush scandal in which many were unfairly had their British citizenship challenged and revoked. Many faced a loss of dignity, suffered financial hardship due to loss of jobs and their homes. The situation became worse for some faced deportation, despite coming here legitimately and living here for many decades. Others were unable to return to the UK, after visiting the Caribbean for what was expected to be a short holiday.
There are still many who have not received the compensation they deserve. The Government must right this wrong.
Dr Gus John wrote a searing public letter to government minister Michael Gove MP, condemning the entire Windrush construct as a sham and as a gross distortion of the relationship between the African diaspora, from the Caribbean and the African continent, and Britain. Click here to read the letter.